Surf ear plugs: protect yourself and avoid the surfers' ear | Photo: Surf Ears

If you're surfing for more than a decade, then you must read this article. Have you ever heard of surfers' ear or exostosis? Protect your ears before it is too late.

First advice: don't watch surgical footage of an abnormal bone growth being removed from the ear canal. You'll freak out even knowing the whole process requires general anesthesia.

Surfers' ear is caused by the cold wind and water. With time and exposure to adverse weather conditions, your ear canal gets constricted and traps water and wax. As a result, you'll develop infections, otitis and, in the worst cases, deafness.

The problem usually starts to occur in surfers and watermen in their 30s, but exostosis is possible at any age. Do you really want a bony growth blocking your ears and affecting hearing and balance?

The good news is that modern surf ear plugs will allow you to ride waves in cold air and water temperatures, without sacrificing performance. They're quite comfortable, easy to use and washable.

The "Doc's Pro Plugs" protect your ears by keeping a warm pocket of air in the canal and leaving most cold water out without impeding hearing and balance. The soft hypoallergenic plastic model floats, and it is extremely comfortable. It's the best protection against surfer's ear in the market.

The "JBL Hydro Seals" prevent water from entering the inner ear and were developed by American audio equipment company JBL. These earplugs are hypoallergenic, don't block sound, and are made from soft silicon.

The "Surf Ears 2" are made in Sweden. They were designed to let the sound in, and keep water out. They feature a fixation wing, an acoustic mesh with a non-stick hydrophobic coating, and a sealing gel what will protect the ear canal. The kit comes in a perfect storage case.

The "EQ Seals" offer an innovative design made of medical silicone. The one-size model will fit 95% of users. However, this might not be an option for medium-to-large surf: the absence of a leash will result in losing the ear plugs.

The "Mack's Aquablock" ear plugs are made of silicone and promise increased sealing ability. They are washable and reusable for extended wear.

The "Mack's Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs" ear plugs are effective, but they work differently. Each silicone unit is pliable and moldable to your ear. It will not let cold water or air in, which also means that you won't hear very well. A radical protection for the most conservative surfers.

The "Gooq Premium" surf ear plugs were designed for surfers, swimmers and water athletes. They block water cold air, and dirt bacteria, but let sound through.

The "Alpine SurfSafe" ear plugs are a comfortable and effective hearing protection against the relentless effects that cold wind and waters have on your auditory system. They're made with a flexible silicone-free material that fits in any ear.

The surf ear plug review has been updated on March 15, 2018.

Waves are constantly breaking all over the world, and if you're on a surf trip or family vacations it's always good to know you can rent a surfboard anywhere there's a gem to be ridden.

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